8/14/2012 RC: "Building the Best Delver"

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This thread is for discussion of this week's ReConstructed, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Question, Gavin: I sent you a list for this challenge that I think would fit the one you've put up. Do I have to send it to you again?
How does Mortarpod kill Knight of Glory again?
Most Zombie decks run Mortarpod, and the black-red versions might have Brimstone Volley or similar, but still, the band of answers is so narrow that silence will fall upon Zombies as the Knight strikes them down.



If I understand Mortarpod correctly, it won't kill Knight of Glory because it's the equipped creature that deals damage, not Mortarpod itself.
I recall an interesting observation from the very first Reconstructed column:

Two copies of a card is generally a number I try to avoid. Often, playing two copies of a card just means you didn't playtest enough to know which cards were good or bad, so to avoid making a mistake you just play two.

So, looking at your Delver build full of 2-ofs I find myself wondering whether the advice to avoid 2-ofs was wrong or if this is an indication that you don't really know which cards Delver wants? Tongue Out
I recall an interesting observation from the very first Reconstructed column:

Two copies of a card is generally a number I try to avoid. Often, playing two copies of a card just means you didn't playtest enough to know which cards were good or bad, so to avoid making a mistake you just play two.

So, looking at your Delver build full of 2-ofs I find myself wondering whether the advice to avoid 2-ofs was wrong or if this is an indication that you don't really know which cards Delver wants?


I'm guessing that Delver works quite differently because of the extremely high cantrip count. A 2-of is much closer to a 3-of, simply because you're cycling through your deck much faster.
Every Delver sideboard should have no less than two Phantasmal Image, IMHO.
Question, Gavin: I sent you a list for this challenge that I think would fit the one you've put up. Do I have to send it to you again?



If you sent it, I received it.

How does Mortarpod kill Knight of Glory again?



Most Zombie decks run Mortarpod, and the black-red versions might have Brimstone Volley or similar, but still, the band of answers is so narrow that silence will fall upon Zombies as the Knight strikes them down.



If I understand Mortarpod correctly, it won't kill Knight of Glory because it's the equipped creature that deals damage, not Mortarpod itself.



Correct! Good call - Germ tokens are black. That makes the Knight even better. 

I recall an interesting observation from the very first Reconstructed column:

Two copies of a card is generally a number I try to avoid. Often, playing two copies of a card just means you didn't playtest enough to know which cards were good or bad, so to avoid making a mistake you just play two.

So, looking at your Delver build full of 2-ofs I find myself wondering whether the advice to avoid 2-ofs was wrong or if this is an indication that you don't really know which cards Delver wants?



Yeah, I hate 2-ofs. They are certainly better than normal here because of Ponder and Snapcaster Mage. Having a bunch of 2 ofs gives you a lot of versatility as you Ponder through, and having a variety of spells in your graveyard provides you more options later in the game with Snapcaster Mage.
 
However, it's still worth explaining this. Mental Misstep falls into a 3/2 split alongside Gut Shot, so that's a little more excusable. But as for Thought Scour, Mana Leak, and Sword...

Two Swords is very much the "hedge" option. You want to draw one in some matchups, and you can craft your game around it if you draw it, but you don't want to draw two of them and there are matchups where you don't want it. It's also a little slow and clunky. I don't want one, but I also don't want three, so unfortunately two is where these numbers fall.

Two Mana Leak is because you want one to show up often enough that you can threaten it, and that you can dig to it with a Ponder if your opponent has a must-counter threat. Normally I would prefer three Leaks here, but the tap-otu nature of this deck makes me lean toward two.

The one I dislike the most is the two Thought Scour.  You're seldom trying to dig to a Thought Scour, and it's very much a do-nothing card most of the time. However, the deck is trying to hit a critical mass of spells for Delver and it just wants to cantrip into its best cards. I could very much see a world where I cut these for another land and a spell, however.

Hope that helps answer your questions!
I think cutting the red was a mistake. There are a good deal of red cards out there that just love the delver frame.  so i think the color to cut is white. Reds devils play and cures of stalked prey are just sooo good, and invisible stalker becomes an amazing card. and red also helps the talrand plan. ur is the way to go with delver.
Rephrasing: I sent you a list for another week that would fit this weeks challenge. Do I need to send it in again?
Gavin, I enjoy deckbuilding articles by yourself and others, and really appreciate the explanations that accompany a good deck build. You're one of the best writers out there currently in this area. However, something bothers me about this article and I felt like I had to raise it.

First, a question - Gavin, it is my understanding that you work for Wizards of the Coast, currently, on Magic: the Gathering. Is this correct?

If so, I believe that you are/have been involved in the "Future Future League", working on Standard formats of the future. Is this also correct?

If so, is it really appropriate for a Wizards employee with this type of knowledge to be publishing deck building advice specifically intended to attack the current Standard metagame?

I completely understand that it might not matter - in the sense that there are millions of minds working to solve the same problem and this article / your build may not be any more likely to crack the metagame than another. But what if it does? What if your list is the one that wins it all in the next major tournament? Isn't that basically just seeding the pool with the answers? 

I feel like this type of specific, current analysis and deck proposal for current tournaments belongs on the 3rd party sites (such as starcitygames.com or channelfireball.com) or at the very least be done by someone who does not work directly for WotC designing/developing MTG (e.g. JVL or Conley). Again, this is nothing against you, personally, but merely the fact that given your position, this article seems inappropriate.

At least with Building on a Budget (which I miss, by the way), there was a self-imposed restriction (the budget, obviously) that made it seem more "ok". Top Decks and the new JVL column are about analysing decks that others have built, which also seems appropriate. Somehow, this just doesn't.

Just my 2 cents worth.   
Torpor Orb and Grafdiggers Cage.  Why does nobody even sideboardthem?  Pod simply loses.
I think cutting the red was a mistake. There are a good deal of red cards out there that just love the delver frame.  so i think the color to cut is white. Reds devils play and cures of stalked prey are just sooo good, and invisible stalker becomes an amazing card. and red also helps the talrand plan. ur is the way to go with delver.


I'm going to assume this is a troll...
I think cutting the red was a mistake. There are a good deal of red cards out there that just love the delver frame.  so i think the color to cut is white. Reds devils play and cures of stalked prey are just sooo good, and invisible stalker becomes an amazing card. and red also helps the talrand plan. ur is the way to go with delver.


I'm going to assume this is a troll...

Absolutely not. I think ur delver is goiong to be a very serious deck. Someone is going to pick up calcano's deck and tweak it for the current metagame, and it will be a powerhouse.

I feel like this type of specific, current analysis and deck proposal for current tournaments belongs on the 3rd party sites (such as starcitygames.com or channelfireball.com) or at the very least be done by someone who does not work directly for WotC designing/developing MTG (e.g. JVL or Conley). Again, this is nothing against you, personally, but merely the fact that given your position, this article seems inappropriate.




Maybe their goal is to accept that this kind of analysis is going to exist, but to get people (at least some people) dependent on them. Having a foot in that area of Magic's metagame gives them some degree of control over it, which they may feel that they've lacked historically.
Is there any blue card in Jason Roger's Blue-Red-Green Ramp?
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